Family Favorite Lemon-Herb Chicken
One of my fondest Sunday supper memories is sitting nestled on a kitchen chair, watching my mother prepare our Sunday supper.
My mother was a pioneer in her day, working at a time when most other mothers stayed home. In her case, it was not by choice, but by necessity. The only day she had time to enjoy preparing dinner was on Sunday. She took her time slicing, chopping, and mixing. The house grew fragrant with the aroma from our oven.
Since my mother worked, this was a special time for the two of us to sit and chat about everything happening in our lives; it was a lovely bonding time. Hours later we would sit down to the finest meal of the week. The following recipe is one that my mother made often. I have updated it over the years and it has evolved into one of our favorite Sunday suppers.
Yield: 3-4 servings
1 – 3 to 4 pound whole roasting chicken
1 – 4 Lemons, to taste
3 – Cloves of garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Handful of thyme leaves
Handful of rosemary leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove any giblets and excess fat from the cavity. Rinse the chicken and dry well with a paper towel. Roughly chop garlic and herbs, reserving about 1 tablespoon of the thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with garlic, herbs, and one of the lemons. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with salt and pepper to taste. I usually use a fairly good amount of salt; which results in a crispy, flavorful skin. Sprinkle remaining herbs onto the chicken.
Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan surrounded by the additional lemons, if desired. Roast for 60 – 65 minutes, check if it is done by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should register 180 degrees F. Remove from oven and let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices and garnish with lemon halves. If you like a zesty, piquant taste you can squeeze juice from the lemons onto the carved chicken. Enjoy!